Storm Event

“A great inundation of the sea occurred throughout England, ‘and most of all in the Thames’; sea-walls were broken, countless animals drowned, and fertile land was ruined by salt”

Severity ? 3


This event was associated with a storm which blew from the west, then veered north, which produced a storm surge that affected north sea coasts, including Zeeland, Flanders and England (Gottschalk, 1971).


Britton (1937) reported that sea walls were broken down and breached across England, but particularly in the vicinity of the Thames estuary.

Receptor and Consequence

The coastal flood event was reported by many of the manors in the Thames estuary as having killed livestock; in Faversham, Kent, 104 yearling sheep were lost to the flood and a man was hired to retrieve their pelts to be sold. The flood led to a redirection of water and fish movement in marshes and also disproportionate value of marsh lands. Great Wakering in Essex was partially flooded. Expenditure on sea-walls and marshland drainage, which had been running at between £1 and £5 per year over the previous decade, surged to £36 2s. 8d. Several thousand man-days of labour were expended in repairing and heightening sea-walls over the following three years (Galloway, 2009).

Summary Table

Loss of life *
Residential property Manor of Great Wakering in Essex was partially flooded
Evacuation & Rescue *
Cost *
Ports *
Transport *
Energy *
Public services *
Water & wastewater *
Livestock Manors reported death of livestock; in Faversham, Kent, 104 yearling sheep were drowned
Agricultural land Winter barley crop was lost. Salt-water flooding ruined fertile land
Coastal erosion *
Natural environment The flow of water was disturbed in marshes, due to flooding, leading to a change in the movement of fish
Cultural heritage *
Coastal defences Sea walls breached in Thames estuary

*No known sources of information available


  1. Gottschalk M. K. E. (1971). Stormvloeden En Riveroverstromingen In Nederland Deel 1- De Period Voor 1400. Assen: Van Gorcum.
  2. Britton C. E. (1937). ‘A Meteorological Chronology To A.D. 1450’. Geophysical Memoirs, 70. London: H. M. Stationary Office. 177pp.
  3. Galloway, J. A. (2009). ‘Storm flooding, coastal defence and land use around the Thames estuary and tidal river c. 1250-1450’. Available at: (Accessed: 6 August 2018).